Published: 00:01, 03 August 2017
A man said to be responsible for stringing up a dead fox as a trophy is thought to have temporarily moved house after being "named and shamed" online.
It is understood a campaign calling for "action" against the Sheppey resident and his home was set up on Facebook.
Police and RSPCA officials were called after shocked neighbours woke to find the fox strung upside down with its legs splayed apart on a gate in Danedale Avenue, Minster.
Warning graphic image below
It had been caught in a snare and the metal wire had cut through its neck.
Neighbours believe the snare was set in the back garden and the carcass posted as a “trophy”.
A police spokesman said: “Officers have made inquiries to establish whether any offences have been committed but no charges have been brought against anyone in relation to this matter.”
He added: “It should go without saying that people should not take the law into their own hands.”
Angela Walder, former chairman of the Sheppey branch of the RSPCA, said of the incident: “I was horrified and disgusted.
“This was an appalling way to die. The fox must have been in terrible agony. I hope the RSPCA prosecutes.”
Nicola Honey from Brier Road, Sittingbourne, runs the RSPCA’s mobile cat neutering service for the South East and was called to cut the animal down.
She said: “This must have come as a terrible shock to anyone walking past – especially for children.”
Ray Allibone, who runs Swampy’s Wildlife Rescue in Sheerness, posted a warning on Facebook.
He wrote: “Please be aware if you live in Minster and Eastchurch somebody is setting snares to catch wildlife.
"This must have come as a terrible shock to anyone walking past – especially for children" - Nicola Honey
“I’m afraid this will put your pets in a very vulnerable position.”
One neighbour, who has not been named, said: “I live up this road. It is very quiet and not fox infested. I heard the noise.
“It was distressing but the biggest shock was seeing it tied to the gate.”
There was no reply when we called at the house.
An RSPCA spokesman said: “In this instance there was insufficient evidence of a breach of the law to support any further action.”
Fox snares are legal in the UK but subject to restrictions. The British Association for Shooting and Conservation says other methods should be considered first.
More by this authorJohn Nurden